Importance of Understanding Legal Perspectives in Aging

Importance of Understanding Legal Perspectives in Aging

In the contemporary medical world, a growing emphasis on the well-being of the elderly persons is evident. Such is the case given the many wellness services and resources for the elderly persons. Among these resources is the legal perspective in aging whose role in the elderly person is unequivocal. As such, an understanding of the importance of this phenomenon is of significance to the appreciation of its role in the wellbeing of an elderly individual. In essence, the focus of this analysis is the identification of the importance of comprehending legal perspectives in aging. At the heart of the analysis are various benefits envisaged in three main themes that are worth highlighting. They include law as a perspective, a resource and tool of understanding the social context of aging.  By addressing these areas, an appreciation of the value of studying the legal perspectives in aging is inevitable.

Law as a Perspective

Primarily, at the policy level, the law as a perspective can facilitate the identification of when and the manner in which the already established and proposed policies influence elderly persons’ legal rights and responsibilities. However, in the absence of the same, systemic biases in old age policy-making are inevitable (Wilmoth, & Ferraro, 2013). In particular terms, it results in a situation where the policy-makers often underappreciate or in extreme cases overlook the implications of the formulated policies on the old adults’ legal rights and interests. With such a possibility, the elderly persons have no option but to suffer because of the failings of the policies developed. As such, understanding the legal perspective at the policy level is important in the prevention of such systemic biases.

Additionally, the law as a perspective also comes with the advantage of preventing elderly abuse and neglect. Such is the case given the statutory requirements in the various states in USA that encourage mandatory reporting of suspected cases of elder abuse and neglect to the related state agencies. A mechanism of this kind helps in reducing the proportion of elderly abuse and neglect cases. Strengthening this claim is the fact that institutions such as long-term care facilities have no option but to comply with the statutory requirements if they are to escape legal charges for such deficiencies (Doron, &Soden, 2012). By contrast, a lack of the legal perspective when discussing the elderly persons’ agenda, such injustices are inevitable. Clearly, with such an illustration, it is beyond reasonable doubt that the law as a perspective is vital when studying long-term care options courses.

Law as a Resource

As a resource, the law is advantageous in the sense that it can recommend additional resources that one can use to help elderly persons. The resourcefulness of the law is in three ways. Firstly, through the law, lawyers play an educative and preventive role in which they teach the elderly persons and the caregivers about the legal rights and restrictions, as well as empower them to use the knowledge for the avoidance of future legal problems. Such a provision enables the lawyers to prepare the elderly and caregivers to make better-informed decisions when faced with future legal problems (Schulz,2013). Based on this advantage of the law as a resource, it is beyond doubt that studying the law is worth it.

Secondly, the law as a resource enables lawyers to bring to light the legal tools when enforcing legal rights. Such a possibility will enable the caregivers and elderly persons to appreciate the legal consequences that may arise for illegalities committed. Consequently, these persons will abide to the law for the avoidance of escaping non-compliance associated penalties (Doron, &Soden, 2012).

Lastly, according to Wilmoth, and Ferraro,(2013), the law as a resource can also inspire a social change through bringing strategic and focused lawsuits for the establishment of vital legal precedents. For instance, a ruling directing long-term care facilities to provide such services to the elderly persons will serve as a precedent for future cases related to this issue. Moreover, the legal precedent will help in creating rules and principles necessary for governing future cases of similar kind. As such, the law based on this lens is important since it results in a much-needed social change.

Law as a Tool of Shaping up the Social Context of Aging

Precisely, the law as a tool of shaping up the social context of aging can help in the creating the aging experience by affecting elderly persons’ preferences and activities. For instance, laws can act as incentives for certain behaviors by rewarding them. A case in point is the high medical reimbursement for hospitals that comply with the quality standards of elderly care will encourage such institutions to institutionalize these standards.Notwithstanding, the law through punishment discourage behaviors that cause elderly persons’ demeanor. For example, elderly abuse and neglect will attract financial penalties for the propagators of the wrong. As such, comprehending the social context of these laws is necessary for the understanding the lifestyle options and preferences in the current environment(Wilmoth, & Ferraro, 2013). With such illustration, it is indisputable that the law as a tool of shaping up the social context of aging is beneficial in advising aged individuals about the choices that they can explore without fear of legal consequences.


Concisely, this discussion aimed at identifying the importance of comprehending legal perspectives in aging. Largely, it has achieved this objective through addressing three thematic areas, namely, law as a perspective, a resource and tool of understanding the social context of aging. An implication drawn from the analysis is the need for understanding the value of law for the elderly person. That is for sure given the potential benefits of such an understanding depicted in this discussion. For instance, such comprehension will enable one to act in a manner that prevents elderly abuse because of the consequences stipulated within the law for such an injustice.As such, going forward, individuals caring for the elderly persons must make sense of the laws governing these individuals if they are to ensure the protection and maintenance of the well-being of this population.  However, in the absence of such a consideration, maintenance of elderly well-being is not going to be easy.


Doron, I., &Soden, A. (2012). Beyond elder law: New directions in law and aging. Berlin: Springer.

Schulz, R. (2013). Encyclopedia of aging.New York: Springer Pub.Co.

Wilmoth, J. M., & Ferraro, K. F. (2013). Gerontology: Perspectives and issues.New York: Springer.